Logical Reasoning Theory

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Practical one
Logical reasoning and the effects of validity and ontology
This experiment explored whether individuals can reason logically, when presented with a set of syllogisms relating to ontology, regardless of ontological invalidity, when told to ignore ontology.
16 syllogisms were presented, half correct and half incorrect, participants were asked to score each syllogism as valid or invalid
Within the design, there were 163 participants, the average age being 22 years and 8 months with a standard deviation of 6 years and 6 months
This experiment used a ‘Within, repeated measures design’ 2 way Anova with 2 factors; validity and ontology and 2 levels; correct and incorrect.
The aim was to examine whether people become more prone
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Kelemen and Rosset (2009) developed studies on teleological explanation finding effects on logical reasoning include scientific knowledge, religious beliefs, and inhibitory control.
Individual factors such as belief and knowledge gives us some understanding how within syllogisms, people reason correctly or incorrectly, however external factors involved in actively engaging in reasoning also effect reasoning. Guyote and Steinberg (1981) found types of content can cause errors, whilst Dickstein (1975) found effects of instructions and premise order could increase errors in syllogistic reasoning.
This study aimed to examine whether people become more prone to ontological mistakes when given logical reasoning tasks to occupy cognitive resources, showing the effect that believability can have on logical reasoning and exploring whether ontological mistakes would interfere with logical reasoning. 16 syllogisms were used to test
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Findings did support the hypothesis; that there would be an effect of validity and ontology on logical reasoning. Prediction that in an analysis of variance incorporating ontology, participants would endorse ontologically correct problems more than ontologically incorrect problems, was supported. It was also found participants would endorse valid problems more than invalid problems, supported predictions.
Findings, are supported by literature discussed, such as that of Evans, Barston and Pollard (1983) who found that belief was consistently shown to support the ability to verify syllogisms when attempting to apply logic, and Kelemen (2003) who found preferences for teleo-functional explanations. It is important however to note that this study does not answer why this preference is shown and literature by Kelemen and Rosset (2009) whose study found effects on logical reasoning included individual’s scientific knowledge, religious beliefs, and inhibitory control, would be important areas to highlight in future
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